The Changing Role of the Author and Design as a means to improve the accessibility of maps  – Essay Design

 

In this book, designed to present my essay, I explored design as a means to improve the accessibility of maps through the symbols/icons used, the use of colour and features within maps. In addition, I looked at maps as a general item of visual culture as well as exploring authorship and the changing role of the author in terms of mapping. I focused on the symbols and tools used within maps and how this effects the usability. The actual design of the book, is meant to reflect the content of the essay. The book features my essay broken down and shown in a variety of language in order to demonstrate the idea that google maps transcends language boundaries and therefore is accessible for everyone. Taking the heavy reliance google maps has on symbols and icons, I laser cut a binding for the book with three widely recognised map icons – airport, parking and hospital. I also had a go at recreating the famous ‘You Are Here’ icon in range of creative ways with various mediums, from paint to pencil to chalk. The broken down Google is a design choice made to frame the multiple google maps screenshots throughout the book, demonstrating the idea that virtual maps, specifically Google maps, allow you to visit almost anywhere from the comfort of you computer screen.